Tuesday, March 28, 2017


When we checked in for our flight, we were told the plane was full, but that doesn't always mean anything. Still, as we waited at the gate we got a sinking feeling . . . sure looked full. It makes such a difference on these long-haul flights (when you sit in economy) to have that empty seat. Marc studies the plane layout and is remarkably successful at picking the right seats, but if the plane is full it's full, no matter what seat you have.

The guy who sat next to us was traveling to Hong Kong for his sister's wedding; he was from NYC, and very friendly, so it could've been worse for sure. But the plane was an old one, the seats were very uncomfortable, and without that little bit of extra space, the 16 hours of flying are long and hard. Marc sat in the middle and I had the window, and we both slept as much as we could, on and off. At one point I had tried every position and just felt that despair of the long haul flight -- still 10 hours to go, aching neck and back, knees stiff, exhausted.

But really, it all went as well as possible. We had a 5-hour layover in Hong Kong and passes to the United Lounge, so we got our usual seats and watched the sun come up. We always feel like the poor country relatives when we get to the lounge; we have day passes rather than memberships, and we just kind of descend on the food like we've never seen it before.

this is "our" spot
After our five-hour layover, we had a five-hour flight to Denpasar. Easy layover, easy flight, easy trip through customs, easy baggage, easy money exchange, easy car pick-up.

SO excited to be back in Bali. So excited

The airport lets you know where you are -- no doubt. Bali.

lush, even at the airport

public art tells Hindu stories
So we're driving along, and our driver speaks English, but of course with a very thick Balinese accent. We passed one vehicle after another filled with people in fancy clothing.

"What's that about?" we asked.
Oh, you're here for Nyepi, he said. The whole island closes. No airplanes fly. No cars drive. Everyone stays inside. Marc and I looked at each other -- did he just say....wait, what? So we asked again, and it certainly seemed like that's what he said. We laughed, sure we had misunderstood.

No airplanes fly? What day is that? We leave on Wednesday, we fly on Wednesday, what day is the no-fly day? Tuesday? What? Wait, what?

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